With summer here and all of us spending a lot more time outdoors in the heat, we think about things like putting sunblock on the kids, keeping them hydrated, and protecting their delicate skin from too much sun. But what about other summer safety hazards that we might not think about?
There are the really scary things like fireworks and drownings in the pool, but what about the everyday things that we might simply overlook? Here are five safety hazards to keep in mind when you are outdoors with your kids.
We all love spending time at the park eating picnic lunches and having barbecue dinners outside. The problem is, bacteria grows very quickly in perishable food that’s left out too long.
Make sure food is cooked thoroughly and wash your hands after touching any raw meats you might be cooking. Never use the same plate that you had raw meat on to put the cooked meat on. Don’t leave food out for more than an hour when it’s hot outside. And always store food in a well-insulated cooler packed with plenty of ice.
Symptoms of food poisoning can mimic those of the stomach flu: nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.
At the Playground
Let’s face it, even though they are made for children, playgrounds can be a dangerous place. Slides and other equipment get hot enough to burn children; make sure you check the temperature of the playground equipment to ensure it’s not too hot.
Kids also can fall off climbing items, slides, and swings and injure their face, head, or arms. Surfaces that the children would land on should be cushioned, and make sure that there are no exposed bolts or open “S” hooks.
Bikes and Scooters
Kids get excited and often don’t pay enough attention while playing on their bikes, skateboards, and scooters. They can crash into obstacles or lose control. Unfortunately, they can also be hit by vehicles that don’t see them.
Make sure your kids wear a helmet and other safety gear every time they ride. Don’t let them ride in the street, and teach them to look both ways before crossing driveways.
I wrote about sun safety tips and how to keep your family safe while in the sun. But what about heat exhaustion? Do you know the symptoms?
Children under 4 are vulnerable to high temperatures so take care to keep them cool. Kids can develop heat exhaustion and become seriously dehydrated after too much sun.
Symptoms include pale skin, dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
If possible, stay inside during high temperature heat waves. If you are going to be outside, make sure they stay hydrated and give them liquids (preferably water) even if they say they aren’t thisty.
And I am sure it goes without saying but NEVER leave your child in a car which can heat up to 100+ degree temperatures very quickly.
What other hazards can you think of that seem to be overlooked?